India should learn from its past mistakes and not think twice before leaving one of its top spinners out of the XI for a World Testing Cup final against Australia if conditions warrant, said former England skipper Nasser Hussain. The rotating duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin didn’t make much of an impression two years ago when India lost to New Zealand by eight wickets in the rainy final of the first tournament. According to Hussain, India made the mistake of misinterpreting the terms last time and should not repeat that mistake this time as they wait 10 years for their first ICC title. “I think India, as they showed in Australia, can win under any conditions,” Hussain told The ICC Review.
“It helps to balance their side if the weather is good and if the sun is shining in the Oval that they can use their formula of two spinners, two seamers and have (Shardul) Thakura as the third seamer.
“If you look back at the last World Testing Championship, I think India misunderstood the terms. The light was on all five days, it was gray, it was a pity, it was cold. line spinner India played two and I think the seam dominated, the swing dominated.
“India played well in cricket at the Oval. Last time they beat England in a really good game. I think it’s a pretty fair place.” Jadeja and Ashwin scored eight Test hundred for two, with the former hitting 104 in India’s last red-ball match in England in 2022.
Hussain believes the spin duo offers India’s punch depth, but has made it clear that using the two may not be the best option if the weather is rainy and humid.
“I would go for Jadeja and Ashwin, (for) batting depth. Then you can hit the bat all the way down. Then you can play your best seamers,” said the 55-year-old former batter.
“Last time Jadeha served beautifully there against England. He delayed the end. He did it for them with a backswing because he also hits the dirty side of the ball when he serves.
“But what they shouldn’t do, if it’s raining and it’s wet and damp and the lights are on and the lights are green, then they have to rebalance their side, which they didn’t do at the World Testing Championship last time.
“I would really look at those conditions the day before and that first morning and wouldn’t be afraid to leave one of your legends if the conditions required it. But great bowlers are usually great bowlers no matter what the conditions.” The WTC Final starts on Wednesday at The Oval.
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